I don’t really make New Year’s resolutions anymore, but like most people, I’m thinking back on this year and trying to figure out what to change in the new one. I’ve decided that there are a few things I want to work on.
Being excited about what other people are doing (reading, talking about, trying) is a great way to show that you care about them. Whether someone needs a bit of encouragement or a whoop of congratulations, I’m gonna try harder to offer it. And remember: enthusiasm is contagious!


And maybe Mom shouldn’t be doing so much scolding (Mom says to herself). Listen, no one really likes to be scolded. Something about all this social media stuff makes us think everyone wants our opinions all the time. I realized this year that people are very rarely looking for criticism. Even less frequently does anyone enjoy the kind of feedback that isn’t helpful in any way. This year I’ll try to offer helpful comments, and only when appropriate.


It’s a shame that the stories people spread about other people are often negative. When you know great people doing great things, shouldn’t everyone know about them? Why not spread those “rumors” instead? So I’ll be working on that. (Psst…pass it on.)


And then listen some more. In between the cheerleading and rumor-spreading. Hey, it’s the best way to know what’s going on!


Yesterday I was in the car with my whole family, clapping and singing along with the radio. (Don’t worry, my husband was driving.) As we sat at a stop light, my daughter noted that the people in a car across the intersection were also dancing. I didn’t see them right away, but when I glanced back along the cars (and the driver saw me looking), I noticed them bobbing their heads in an exaggerated way and smiling. Were they making fun of me? I’m not sure. I just smiled back, and waved, and kept dancing.
The way that you dance in your living room (or car), or sing in your shower, are wholehearted in a way that “audience-ready” performances rarely feel. We aren’t worried about being perfect when we’re alone or with people who feel safe, we’re just in the moment and being ourselves. I realized this year that there’s not enough time to be perfect about everything I need to “perform.” So next year I’m going to focus more on trying to be wholehearted about what I do, no matter who is looking.


Just kidding. (Kinda.) Don’t you love seeing a photo so sweet that you can’t help but smile? Or having someone share a story so funny you laugh until it hurts? As Buddy the Elf said, “I just like to smile, smiling’s my favorite.” Smiling always makes me feel better, and I’m convinced it helps other people, too. I’ll try to share as many smiles as possible.


We celebrate holidays and birthdays, milestones and events. But sometimes we should celebrate “just because.” As Hester Browne said, “Always keep a bottle of champagne in the fridge for special occasions. Sometimes the special occasion is that you’ve got a bottle of champagne in the fridge.”
Do you have New Year’s resolutions for 2013? What are you thinking about the old year and the new one we’re starting? I’d love to know!